Lana Del Rey says the coronavirus pandemic has brought society’s “existential panic” to the surface

The singer spoke to her producer Jack Antonoff in a new interview about the mental impact of the global health crisis

Lana Del Rey has shared her thoughts on the coronavirus pandemic in a new interview with Jack Antonoff, offering her view that society is realising a sense of “existential panic” as a result of the global health crisis.

The two artists spoke at length about a range of subjects for a new feature in Interview Magazine, which has arrived ahead of the anticipated release this month of Del Rey’s new album ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’.

During their conversation, Del Rey spoke about her own experience of panic attacks, saying that those closest to her “know the ins and outs of why I sometimes catch sheer panic out”.

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“I’ll say: ‘Today was a bad day and it’s because of you, and I don’t even know you anymore.’ I don’t necessarily think there’s much value in doing that — it’s just what’s true. I don’t ever feel bad for saying to someone: ‘I’m having a panic attack because of what you’ve done.’ That’s black-belt life, like 3.0.

“What’s insane is that the pandemic has brought up all of these mental health crises and domestic crises that were always there, that I always sang about, that people had so much to say about in terms of: ‘She’s just feigning emotional fragility’. And it’s like: ‘Well, not really. You’re feigning emotional togetherness despite the fact that you’re a wack-job Monday through Friday.'”

Antonoff asked Del Rey is she feels like she’s “doing okay because you’re sort of always in touch with some sort of underbelly”, to which Del Rey replied: “I don’t feel like I’m doing okay. I just know now that I was always right.”

Jack Antonoff and Lana Del Rey
Jack Antonoff and Lana Del Rey (Picture: Getty)

Addressing the societal impact of the pandemic, Del Rey said that she “subscribes to the idea that what’s going on in the macrocosm, whether it be in the presidency or a virus that keeps us isolated, is a reflection of what’s going on in the individual home and inside bedrooms and what people intimately talk about”.

“I think there’s been existential panic for a long time, but people haven’t been paying attention to it because they’ve been too busy buying shoes. And shoes are cute. I love shoes,” she said. “But now that you can’t go shopping, you have to look at your partner and be like: ‘I’ve lived with you for 20 years, but do I even know you?’ You realise maybe you’ve only ever allowed yourself to scratch the surface of yourself because if you went any deeper, you might have a mild meltdown for no reason, just out of the blue, and no amount of talking could explain why.

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“It’s just a part of your genetic makeup. You could just be prone to panic. I think a lot of people are that way,” she continued. “I got a lot of shit for not only talking about it, but talking about lots of other things for a super long time. I don’t feel justified in it, because I’m not the kind of artist who’s ever going to get justified. I will die an underdog and that’s cool with me.

“But I was right to ask: ‘Why are we here? Where did we come from? What are we doing? What happens if this insane, crazy, sci-fi crisis happens, and then you’re stuck with yourself, and you’re stuck with your partner who doesn’t pay attention to you?’ I’m not saying it’s more relevant than ever, but my concern for myself, the country, the world — I knew we weren’t prepared for something like this, mentally.

Del Rey concluded: “I also think it’s a really good thing that we’ve gotten to this point where we have to bump up against ourselves, because it’s not going to be the same when the Beverly Center reopens.”

Del Rey and Antonoff also spoke in the piece about the making of ‘Chemtrails Over the Country Club’, with the former saying that “right now [the album] is really, really good — but I don’t know if it’s perfect, and that really bothers me”.

For help and advice on mental health:

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